Saturday, 13 January 2007
(This is us rushing to get to the Wedding. Held at the Army Institute in Juhu.)
Today is the wedding! Groom was feeling apprehensive as this is the last day of his singledom...hey women go through it too ok mate. heh heh heh....the groom is a lovely kind person let me put it on record.
After lunch we went back to our place and got ready . Nadine is her dad's daughter in that she takes sooooo long to get ready. I have NO IDEA what she does in the bathroom that takes THAT Long!! I saw M and her daughter get ready and they were held not by the shower, but by the lengthy process of putting on their elaborate costumes !
Nadine and I were wearing our outfits which we had worn for Lana's wedding- hey fancy enuff whaaaaat. When we arrived at auntie's house everyone was still getting ready. Women had their hair adorned with jasmine and their hands and arms decorated with gold jewelry ..I so can live here, heh heh.. I did not feel out of place,even though not in saree, because I think we are such a multicultural place back home, its normal to be surrounded by lovely sarees when you yourself are in a baju kurung.
The groom's car went on ahead first. (nicely decorated by the groom's SuperSister!)
The Wedding cannot be held late, as, (I was informed) that the good time to get bride and groom married was between 6 to 7. In fact the time on the card said 6.10 pm.
We arrived at the grounds where the wedding was to be held, following the Groom’s car. There were chairs, lights and buffet stalls circling the area. There was a stage at the end of the garden which was covered with gerberas and orchids and some white flowers I do not know the name to. A priest was already sitting there. There were musicians in the background.
When we arrived, the groom's party was stopped at the entrance. The bride's party greeted him and performed a small ceremony with him , before N and hubby escorted him to the stage. I would say that the groom was greeted "traditionally "by the Bride’s side- (which means I don’t actually know what they did except a lot of beautifully dressed people surrounded him(heh heh), then he headed to the stage and the waiting priest. ( Sounds very much like MY wedding where the kadhi was also kept waiting heh heh) .
Bride was not around at this stage. The groom was led on to the stage by his brother in law the lovely Dr S, (N's husband).
Later she arrived in all her finery (and they were fine yessireeee!!), escorted by her party. As I was rudely stepping in front of people taking pictures (sorry Aka and Ana) I heard this loud sound which was actually the sound of trumpet which blew periodically throughout the ceremony and to announce a critical stage of the ceremony.
(nadine asked them if she could take their pic and they posed for her- how nice!)
The ceremony lasted about one hour (?) – The parents of both sides were also on the stage together with N and her husband- apparently N has to lead the Bride and the husband has to lead the Groom around the fire(small fire only) When the groom ties the “mangal sutera” to the bride (ie a necklace) they then are officially married- awwwwwww..I was told that you do not take off that necklace as long as you are married.
At one point we left the grounds as M had a headache , to look for paracetamol as well as the loo. At the other side of the loo was a part of the grounds where quite a number of ppl were playing what looked very much like BINGO! Strange , don’t they know that a wedding was going on???
Coming back from the loo Nadine decided that enough was enough, it was time to eat. It was vegetarian buffet - She got her own plate and went to all the stalls – I pinched from her plate, and waited with the others to eat with the bride and groom. Meja pengantin lah basically. Unlike our wedding, ppl do not eat first and then greet the bride and groom. Here they line up to greet the couple first. Then eat. The bride and groom and their family would stand in a line and be congratulated by the guests. Guests kept on coming !
At long last M and I decided that we should also join the line of well wishers., so we did. Halfway through us going “well done etc” , we got sort of ignored and groom and N started to talk over our heads. There were commotion as the guy behind us was Kunal Kapoor the actor and Suzanne Khan the wife of Mr Roshan.(she is the one in orange saree)
Of course I had no idea who these ppl were (except who has not heard of Hritik Roshan??) but I thought I’d take their pics! One idiot stood in the way of one very beautiful frontal pic. Now, I can tell you just who Kunal Kapoor is ! A very HOT actor these days!
The line continued and we watched from below. Took loads of pics with the guests and the family. N's eldest son confessed that this was his first experience of an Indian wedding too! Well- he is only 17 and way in the States.
Before the end of the ceremony on the stage and after the guests have ceased to come on stage, there was a bit of commotion. It seems that the bride's party was trying to wrestle the groom's slippers off him! Dhi was explaining to me that it has become the trend lately for the bride and the groom's families to "steal" something from the other and then try to get it back - involving bartering and negotiating and talking "price". It can get rather hairy too as he related one incident where one side had hidden the stolen item in a car and the other side had broken into the car to get it! Compensation had to be paid!- well people do get carried away although I guess that is a pretty good ice breaker eh.
At the end, we finally got together to eat. A long U shaped table was put together and the bride and groom sat at the head of the table while I shamelessly occupied a seat at the other ends with the younger cousins. I supposed they thought this auntie is so childish the way I talk to them eh. Nadine sat in a chair behind me as she had allready eaten! Food today was all vegetarian but was not any less delicious!
After the meal, time to go...the bride's party "handed over" to the groom's family ..but they were separated for the nite..until the nite after the reception. We all got ready to go back....One thing that the Rai and Shetty clan had in common with us and the Adom Clan is that we all scrambled to get all the flowers off the stage!
Even Nadine went up and got ppl to get her orchids etc - she wore some flowers in her hair the next day. It was so much fun to watch everyone on the holy stage, taking the flowers home. Heehee hee! "Ke-jakun-an" is borderless I guess hee hee!
Sigh…it was all in all a colourful event. Full of joy. Felt so honoured to have been able to watch it.
Friday, 12 January 2007
We went to Auntie’s place in time for a vegetarian breakfast (typical Malaysians- always thinking of food) and to watch the groom get ready for the Murta. Shamelessly we stalked him as he got ready, heh heh. Auntie had done her house so nicely with drawings in front of the door. I wore a kebaya top with pants as that was the other dressy thing I had.
Second Day- Got up early! Had breakfast at canteen downstairs the block we were staying! Had tose masala which was tosai with potato curry (dry) in it. Nice! Tea was boiled and milky! I had coffee which tasted and looked like tea! Tagged along with N on her errands - buying spree before their guests arrive for the Mehendi ceremony. (Auntie and Uncle had invited their relatives for Mehendi and for lunch. Around 30 plus came). Had a chance to see a bit of town as we followed N around. Went to several shops looking for paper plates etc. Stopped at a St*nd*rd Charter*d bank trying to get Rupees but again, my ATM card was not recognised (even though they have the PLUS sign at the back) . In the meantime, posed in front of a huge house which was Amitabh Bachan's house. No point putting that pic here as all you can see is the brown timber gate with the security guard there. While we were there N and Uncle left to get flowers. Then to another shop to get gulab jamun and icecream. Nadine posed in front of M*ggi M*e localised- M*ggi Masala, Dal atta noodles! We wanted to get some but had no rupee darn it. (View of Juhu from N's apartment) When we reached N's parents' apartment the Mehendi gals were already there. As the guests were not yet there we had our turn first! Designs quite quite different than the ones done at Lana's wedding . Much bigger . I almost did not let Nadine have her hand done as she was going to school but thought that she'd have almost a week for it to fade . (its fading allready as I type this).
Special treat- auntie had this man who prepared several types of puri in the kitchen. Puri is a puff which he breaks into with a spoon, making a little hole into which he puts tomatoes, onions etc and the spicy soup . There were three types of puri including paneer puri, and shevpuri.
Mad mad day where we almost missed the flight. One scary moment when we could not find the tickets which led to one very surreal conversation with the telephone woman at MAS hotline who insisted that I give her the endorsement number of the tickets before she could advise me what I should do in the case of lost tickets! What was surreal about it is that the endorsement numbers were at the back of the tickets! "Miss, do you understand me," at one point I had to spell it out very slowly," I have lost the tickets. I can't give you the endorsement numbers because it is at the back of the tickets and I cannot find them. Understand???" At the end of it she finally got me and barked at me that to reissue would make us poorer by RM300 - and the tickets were then miraculously found by hubby (hmmm..makes you wonder eh?) . Somehow we only left the house at half past 5, and I was on the phone to the said MAS people who acted like this was the first time they had ever heard of passengers being late and they really do not have any clue what to do. One guy actually told me that the plane was hardly going to wait for one passenger. Hello??? Im paying ??? And even if it was true can you be a bit more polite about it?? Anyways I hate all telephone ppl . Finally we got on the plane thank goodness. This was despite airport officials not because of them. Because we were running late I had asked which counter we should head to- and was redirected 3 times!!! Once we got to J it was F then it was C and so on. Soooo sad to leave the kids, and Johan. Surprisingly, Dahlia was teary too! She is such a softie actually...(me running - holding Johan's hand, and Dahlia hanging on my other arm!). Journey was ok, a bit of confusion as we had sat on some guy's seat (because we were so late we were given seats not corresponding to that shown on the boarding pass ) but he was so nice he let us have the window seats so that Nadine could enjoy her flying experience. (last trip she was 7). We enjoyed the inflight movie- well I did once I changed from Superman returns to My superexgirlfriend - not too happy watching superman rescue planes that were about to crash while I was myself in a plane, and there is no superman! (Oh yes, you have to fill in a card when you land.) Arrived and discovered (a) No Malaysian ringgit at airport forex (b) Its nice to be greeted by a driver holding a card with your name once in a while (c) Bombay is hazy permanently (d) traffic in Mumbai is very noisy, and (e) ppl use the honk in place of signalling !
After another bit of confusion where we were taken to the apartment instead of the club where there is a prewedding bash party going on. I finally got to meet N..she looked (as always)amazingly good and a lot slimmer than the last time we met in Duluth! (and not because she may read this heh heh heh!) . I met G who had grown to be a beauty at 16! ( I saw her last at 8!). N and G's mom, M, oohed and aahed over how big Nadine has grown - the last time M and G saw HER she was a few months old! N, her brother ,and her husband had come to see Nadine a few minutes after she came out. I remember still being in the labour room when they came. N's husband, S, had even gotten ready to sleep and had to come out again to visit me! And now my daughter Nadine was as big as their son was at that time!
Everyone was dancing Hindi movie steps and not your average jiggling - apparently I had missed their performance specially choreographed for the party! And N's special dance! I met a lot of ppl who were going to be our new good friends in the next few days. Everyone was indeed friendly and pushed us to the dance floor. Nadine was very sporting and did not seem to mind leaving my side! Typical outfits were the salwar kameez although very fancy! Steady flow of food and drinks. Time to go back (Bunty helped with our bag - thanks Bunty...). End of the first day , at 2 am. Shared a room with M and her daughter . Discovered that I did not mind Mumbai at all!